Northern Ireland news

Retirement village planned for former Thornhill College site

The old Thornhill College in Derry. Picture by Margaret McLaughlin

THE former Thornhill College in Derry could be transformed into a retirement village after plans won approval.

Members of Derry City and Strabane District Council's planning committee unanimously approved an outline application for the development of a retirement complex at the Culmore Road site.

The buildings have lain boarded up for 15 years after pupils moved to new accommodation in 2003.

It retirement village will retain three existing buildings to provide a `community hub' and see the demolition and redevelopment of remaining structures to provide a 65-bed care home and 68 semi-independent living units.

Occupants must be aged 55-plus to ensure it does not become a housing development in the countryside.

The old tennis courts will be remodelled to provide a multi-use games area and allotments.

Mayor John Boyle welcomed the development.

"The Thornhill site is one of historical significance in our city and has been disused since the school's relocation in 2003 so I welcome the fact that it can be repopulated and regenerated," he said.

"The site is on an area of high scenic value and I look forward to seeing it restored to its former glory in the coming years."

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